Thomas wins WGC-Bridgestone by four shots in dominant style

Tiger Woods barely keeps pace at Firestone

Tiger Woods said there was nothing bothering him but poor play Saturday as he stumbled out of contention at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

Woods, an eight-times victor at Firestone, electrified the gallery with three early birdies but in the end managed only a middling 68 on a course that was there for the taking, with soft greens allowing players to fire aggressively at the pins.

McIlroy ended in tied sixth place after a three-over-par 73, while Poulter was tied 10th after a four-over 74.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy made three straight bogeys around the turn, carded 73 and finished seven shots behind.

Fleetwood, who has been in remarkable form of late, made seven birdies in a bogey-free round of 63 to move to 11 under with Poulter and Thomas.

This will be the last WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, as this event will be replaced in the World Golf Championships rotation by the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which will make its debut on the PGA Tour schedule next season.

On the 399-yard par-4 first hole, Woods reached the green in 2 and sunk a 18-foot putt for birdie.

"I take a lot of pride in how I played today", Thomas told reporters. I've had so many great memories and it's just - it's sad that we're not coming back here anymore. The last player to win two of these in a row is (you guessed it) Woods in 2006 and 2007. "I know it's one of Tiger's favorite courses, so I wanted to come up and see it", said Ralph Lee of Canton. "The golf course is playing very soft, very receptive". Now throw in a sand trap and big ol' tree, and you really lose me. "I think it's going to be great prep for next week as well, so I'll obviously be fully engaged to try to win this tournament but knowing that if I play well tomorrow, it puts me in the right frame of mind going into next week as well (for USPGA Championship)".

"It was very honest", Johnson said of Tuesday's team meeting.

Largely sidelined by years of back trouble that led to spinal fusion surgery in April of 2017, the 14-time major champion remains in search of his first victory since the 2013 Bridgestone.

"If I hit more fairways I feel like I've got a good chance at winning the PGA Championship".

"With a three-shot lead I knew I needed to play well but I had a little bit of wiggle room".

Thomas finished at 15-under 265 for a four-shot victory over Kyle Stanley, who got within two shots of the lead until bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes. Paul and Phyllis Thomas live in the Louisville, Ky., and this is the first time they saw Justin win in person on the PGA Tour.

"I'm going to have to", Woods said of picking up the scoring pace in the third round.

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